Wish you were a millionaire?
I don’t blame you- who doesn’t?
Actual archival footage of me with money
Even if the actual number of zeros in your bank account is a little less than awe-inspiring, there are still ways to feel like a millionaire with your current income. For example, how do you feel every time one of those big, ugly annual bills come in- probably not great, right? You may have to put it on the credit card and watch that interest mount until you can pay it off, or perhaps you have to dig into your travel fund when the car insurance comes knocking.
It doesn’t have to be that way! Imagine that huge bill coming in, and paying it without a second thought- no stress, no cold sweat, no credit.
But isn’t that a luxury that only a millionaire can enjoy?
Not if you’re smart! (or just organised)
Being able to pay bills with ease is one of the greatest benefits of having a budget, at least for me and my sporadic performers income. While you might not see the benefits of budgeting for specific annual bills for a while, setting it up only takes a few minutes and the peace of mind it can give you is astronomical.
Why not sort it out now? You’re clearly not under the pump, since you’re hanging out with me. And if we’re anything alike, your procrastination urges have just kicked in- go ahead, make a cup of tea, I’ll wait.
Ready to go? Great.
Grab a piece of scrap paper, the back of an envelope, anything- this won’t take long. Jot down every annual bill you can think of. We’re talking along the lines of car or health insurance, pet registration, or any of the other grown up things you forget you need to pay before it’s almost too late (you may need to dive into your email to look up exact charges for some of them).
Think you’ve got them all sorted? Awesome! Tot all of the figures up and try not to think about how big that total figure is. Have a sip of tea. Now divide that total figure by the amount of paydays you have in a year and we’re almost done.
Your homework is to open a new zero-fee bank account and set up an auto-transfer of that sum every payday into your newly created ‘annual bills fund’. Set and forget!
You may find that this system needs a bit of a breaking in period (depending on when your next bill is coming due), but eventually you’re going to be living the stress-free bill paying life of a millionaire. Any time your butler hands you a red envelope on your silver platter, you can smugly flip your hair (or whatever the guy equivalent of this is- please let me know) and pay it without second thought.
‘But wait a minute!’ I hear you cry, ‘All of my annual bills add up to fifty bucks a pay cycle! I can’t just lose that money every week, I need it!’
I feel that, really I do. But what would hurt you more- the $50 loss every week, or the $600 bill when you’re least expecting it? This is not a bandaid situation where it hurts less if you do it all at once- set up your auto-saving now, and soon you won’t even notice those missing few dollars, I promise.